Justice Kaba Threatens To Issue Alternative Writ In CBL Case, Further Orders Immediate Release Of 3 Ex-Officials From Detention

Justice Kaba

Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Yussif Kaba, on Monday threatened to issue an Alternative Writ of Certiorari in connection with five former Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) detained at the Monrovia Central Prison.

Defense lawyer Cllr. Abraham Sillah petitioned the High Court for a Writ of Certiorari consistent with Chapter 16, Section 16.21 of the Civil Procedure Law of Liberia.

The writ is an order of a higher court to a lower court to send all the documents in a case to it so the higher court can review the lower court’s decision.

Cllr. Sillah’s application is purportedly to correct Judge Blamo Dixon’s August 26 ruling seeking a L$1,058,000,000.00 bond each from his clients, for which, he said, the high court should issue the writ of certiorari against Judge Dixon’s ruling.

The judge’s ruling further indicated that the indictment against the defendants in the case alleged theft of the amount of L$2,645,000,000.00, and if said amount is multiplied by two, then the amount for the bail will be L$5,290,000,000.00 and should the defendants decide to file a joint bond, it means each of them will post L$1,058,000,000.00, therefore said defendants are entitled to bond each in the amount of L$1,058,000,000.00 or its equivalent in US dollar at the prevailing rate of CBL.

Former CBL Governor Milton Weeks, Richard Walker, Dorber Hagba, Charles Sirleaf and Joseph Dennis were re-arrested on August 22 and later detained at the Monrovia Central Prison following government lawyers’ new criminal indictment for money laundering.

Judge Dixon ordered the five ex-CBL officials to proffer a valid criminal appearance bond each to secure their release.

Since then defendants Weeks, Walker and Hagba have been in detention at the Monrovia Central Prison while Charles Sirleaf and Joseph Dennis were released due to poor health.

Justice-in-Chamber Kaba on Monday met with government and defense lawyers before issuing the threat as result of defense lawyer petition for a Writ of Certiorari.

Justice Kaba has given both defense and prosecution lawyers up to Tuesday, September 3, to reach an agreement or said writ requested by the defense lawyer will be granted.

In another development, Justice  Kaba, has ordered the immediate release from detention at the Monrovia Central Prison of three former officials of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) linked to the L$2.6 billion dollar saga at the bank.

Justice Kaba made the decision Tuesday following a petition for a Writ of Certiorari filed by defense lawyer asking the high to look into Judge Blamo Dixon’s ruling on August 26, on the motion to extend existing criminal appearance bond.

A Writ of Certiorari is an order of a higher court to a lower court to send all the documents in a case to it so that the higher court can review the lower court’s decision.

Judge Dixon in his ruling pointed out that the motion filed by the defense lawyer was “strange and it is not supported by law,” adding that said “motion is unprecedented and contrary to our law and practice.”

Judge Dixon further stated that the motion filed by defense lawyers is also without the ambit of Chapter 15 Section 15.2 of the Criminal Procedure Law of Liberia , and said motion contravenes Chapter 15 of the Criminal Procedure Law captioned arraignment, plea, and pre-trial motion and as such this motion cannot be granted.

Justice-in-Chamber Kaba also instructed Judge Dixon of the Criminal Court “C” to appear on or before September 13 at the Chamber of the Justice to show cause why the petitioners’ petitions as pray for should not be granted.

Justice Kaba also instructed Judge Dixon to file his returns in the office of the Supreme Court clerk before said date as stated.

“You are also hereby ordered to inform the respondent Judge to have the petitioners released from further detention pending the determination of the petitions,” Kaba told the Sheriff.

Defense lawyer Abraham Sillah’s petition to the High Court for a Writ of Certiorari two days ago was consistent with Chapter 16, Section 16.21 of the Civil Procedure Law of Liberia.

Cllr. Sillah said the application is to correct Judge Dixon’s August 26 ruling seeking for L$1, 058,000,000.00 bond each from his clients for which, he said, the High Court should issue the Writ of Certiorari regarding Judge Dixon’s ruling.

Judge Dixon’s ruling indicated that the indictment against the defendants in this case alleged theft of L$2,645,000,000.00, and if said amount is multiplied by two, then the amount of the bail will be L$5,290,000,000.00 so if the defendants decide to file a joint bond, it means the amount will be divided for each of them to post L$1,058,000,000.00, or its equivalent in US dollar at the prevailing rate of CBL.

Former CBL Governor Milton Weeks, Richard Walker, Dorber Hagba, Charles Sirleaf and Joseph Dennis were re-arrested on August 22 and later detained at Monrovia Central Prison following government lawyers’ new criminal indictment for money laundering.

Judge Dixon ordered the five ex-CBL officials to proffer a valid criminal appearance in the tone of 1,058,000,000.00 each to secure their release.

But Sirleaf and Walker were spared detention on health grounds.

Meanwhile, Justice Kaba has also instructed the defendants to surrender their passports or other travel documents to the office of the Sheriff, noting that they should not travel beyond Brewerville and Paynesville cities and the Atlantic Ocean.

He also ordered that the defendants should reports to the office of the Sheriff on Friday of each week at 3:00 P.M.

LINA

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About Cholo Brooks 12515 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.